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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Diet, Inflammation and Prevention of Chronic Disease

Location: Immunity and Disease Prevention Research Unit

Title: Modulation of atherosclerosis by N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

Authors
item Kelley, Darshan
item Adkins, Yuriko
item Sharma, Sumeet -
item Fedor, Dawn -

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 11, 2011
Publication Date: December 4, 2011
Citation: Kelley, D.S., Adkins, Y.C., Sharma, S., Fedor, D.M. 2011. Modulation of atherosclerosis by N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. In: Bidlack, W., Rodriguez, R., editors. The Impact of Dietary Regulation of Gene Function on Human Disease. New York, NY: CRC Press. p. 139-160.

Technical Abstract: We have reviewed literature regarding the effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on risk factors for atherosclerosis in human subjects. Dietary intervention with long chain n-3 PUFA decreased some risk factor (s) for atherosclerosis in most human studies reviewed. These benefits resulted from decreases in fasting and post prandial plasma triglycerides, large VLDL particles, total and small dense LDL particles, RLP-C, and an increase in large LDL particles. The results from most studies document the anti-inflammatory and blood pressure lowering effects of n-3 PUFA, although there have been some exceptions. N-3 PUFA decreased plasma concentrations of adhesion molecules in some, but not in an equal number of other studies. Limited numbers of studies have demonstrated the effects of n-3 PUFA on blood vessel calcification, flow mediated dilation, and plaque stability. In general, both EPA and DHA provided health benefits, but some effects such as the reduction in BP and the number of small dense LDL particles seem to be limited to DHA. Future studies are needed to determine the optimal doses of EPA and DHA individually and to determine their synergistic, additive or antagonistic effects. These doses may vary with the health status of the subjects, response tested, and composition of the basal diets. Studies are also needed to understand the underlying mechanisms of each of these physiologic responses.

Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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